I never send food back to the kitchen at a restaurant. I never ask to speak with the manager. I never tip less than twenty percent.
I have been a waitress and a manager. I know how hard food service is. I know how hard it is when you are short staffed, when a holiday catches you off gaurd, when you forget to put an order in. I know, I’ve been there.
I also know that you can keep tabs on your table, apologize, refill refill refill their drinks while they wait, offer to bring dessert. Whatever you do, however much you want, don’t fucking hide from them.
Today I went to lunch–a sit down place downtown where you can get a decent meal, get in and out in an hour. You push it, but you can. Today was not the case. We saw the waiter about 10 minutes after we were seated, when he brought our drinks, 30 minutes later when I grabbed him and asked where our food was and another 30 minutes later to check on us–but NOT to bring us our check. We are talking burgers, nachos, wings. Not filet mignon or chicken pot pie from scratch. Burgers.
So I had enough. I hate going over the hour I have for lunch, hate it hate it hate it. I got up and asked the hostess for a manager. The same manager who 30 minutes earlier had delivered our food came to the table. My inner bitch came out. It was one of my best Ms. Lindsey moments–if you went to University School, you know what I am talking about.
“We come here regularly on our lunch hour. We like it, because we can get in and out in an hour. This has been the worst experience I’ve had here. We’ve barely seen the waiter, we had to ask for refills from the hostess, our food took at least 30 minutes. I understand holidays and being caught understaffed. We have all been waitstaff and I have been a manager. I want you to know what happened. I’m not saying we won’t return, but I am telling you that this was a very bad experience.”
The manager apologized and in a round-about way, asked us not to return. He did, though, pay for the entire bill. It is the first time, and I hope last, that I ever have to call a manager to the table. It is not my intention to get free lunches or desserts. I was still late coming back from lunch.
My co-workers couldn’t beleive what I had done and said that I had scared them. They had never seen me be so direct with someone and did not know I had it in me. I was shaking when I left, because I really hate to be that way.